Crustless Cheese Corn & Mushroom Savory Tart


Could we just talk about this crustless quiche realllll quick?  OK, it may not be that quick, but really.  I am basically eating my feelings right now because my feelings are made up of corn, mushroom, and quiche.  And don't forget the cheese, please.

This quiche is brought to you by my monthly Secret Recipe Club assignment.  This month I had the pleasure of being assigned Maxine's blog with the most hilarious blog name I have seen in a while: Why I Am Not Skinny.  I definitely had a chuckle when I opened up my assignment email. (Side note: do people still chuckle? I do. I think.) But seriously, does it get any better than this name?  No, it does not.  The lady is just telling it like it is.

Maxine is from South Africa and is now living with her husband in Brussels.  I would like to visit both of those places someday, but if I can't be there, at the very least I can still make this dish.  Maxine mentioned that a savory tart in South Africa is very similar to a crustless quiche.  I like your style South Africa.  I think we would get along well.

I didn't mess around with Maxine's recipe much since I am a fan of all the ingredients, but she mentions that you can add meat if you would like.  Bacon and ham are at the top of her list.  Bacon would definitely be at the top of mine.  Can't ever have too much.  Why I Am Not Skinny is chock full of other goodies and I was so so close to making the Chili Con Carne or the Banana & Chocolate French Toast recipes.  I ended up not having all the ingredients on hand to make the chili and as for the french toast, I had already made something similar that I plan to post on the blog very soon, so that was also nixed.  But I know I still chose a winner in this quiche.  Maxine can plan my meals any day!

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Lemon Bars


I really want to be a responsible adult and make more salads and light, fresh, healthy summer foods.  But really, in the depths of my soul, all I really want to do is eat dessert like a maniac.  And maybe finish things off with a flavored vodka (hint hint for a future blog post!).

I feel like these lemon bars are a compromise on what my body needs and what it actually wants.  I've had a desire to make lemon bars for years.  And in this case, I literally mean I've wanted to make them for years.  But as with all good intentions, I've been sidetracked by chocolate and cupcakes and sometimes even a bunch of kale.  But now I have a great "excuse" to make this wonderful dessert:  it's Secret Recipe Club time!

This month I was assigned Melissa's blog, Smells Like Brownies.  What a treat!  Melissa is a stay-at-home mom who takes care of two young'uns all day long, which I'm pretty sure means that she's a superhuman.  Melissa started her blog as a way to try out new food and eat well, which is one of the reasons I started mine as well!  Not surprisingly, I wanted to make pretty much everything on Melissa's site.  I really must stop researching recipes when I'm hungry.  Seriously.  I'm definitely making those hazelnut meringues one day soon though.  They will be mine!

Once I saw that Melissa had a recipe for lemon bars, I was sold.  It didn't hurt that I had to bring a dessert for my friends' Memorial Day BBQ and I knew I would need to impress since one of the hosts recently graduated from culinary school.  After I was done, I realized that I was a complete fool for not making these earlier.  You will not believe how easy and delicious this recipe is.  I ended up doubling the amount of filling for my bars because I am obsessed with the tangy lemon filling, but you could also choose to make bars with less filling if you so desire.

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Bagel & Cream Cheese French Toast Casserole

Bagel & Cream Cheese Casserole


Bagels are a gateway drug for me.  I feel as if once I have one, I've been given license to carb up for the rest of the day.  This could be a bad decision, even if it's a delicious one.

This month's Secret Recipe Club really hit me hard in that carb category.  Granted, I do have the final choice as to what to make, but seriously, how could I not choose this option from Famished Fish?  If you haven't checked out Saundra's blog, you're missing out.  You should head on over and take a look if you don't believe me.  If you do believe me, then you're probably also bookmarking recipes like Pineapple Fritter Donuts, Chocolate Churrovers, and Buffalo Hot Wing Popcorn.  I can't say I blame you.

When I saw this though, I knew I had found THE recipe.  I'd never had a bagel french toast casserole before, but I don't mind if I do.  This combination of the crispy bagel, creamy cheddar, and tangy cream cheese was the best decision I made that day.  Do not sleep on this recipe because you need it in your life.

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Cinnamon & Sugar Almonds

Cinnamon & Sugar Almonds


"I need deez."

That's what I said to myself when I saw this recipe.  Actually, I said that when I saw quite a few recipes on Dena's site, Oh! You Cook!  I was quite fortunate to be assigned Dena's food blog for this month's Secret Recipe Club because she pretty much makes everything that I want to eat. And because I'm definitely going to need that Chocolate Tart in a Macaroon Crust (for Easter, for the kids...that I didn't celebrate with), and that Lazy Lasagna (that I may be a little too lazy to make sometimes, but I have really really good intentions), and that Baked Lemon Herb Fish (I really need to make a fish dish soon because one cannot live on chocolate alone, although I seem to be testing that theory.)

After all this searching, I finally decided on the Cinnamon and Sugar Almonds.  I hadn't "candied" anything in a while and I have been trying to eat healthier recently because ALL OF THE SUGAR AND CARBS HAVE BEEN VISITING ME!  So anyhow, instead of making anything with chocolate or pasta (sadly), I decided that these almonds would be my gateway back into the Land of the Healthy.  There's a little bit of sugar and a little bit of spice and a lot of healthy protein.  So let's do this!

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Bacon, Basil, Tomato & Mozzarella Grilled Cheese

Bacon, Basil, Tomato & Mozzarella Grilled Cheese


If I make this sandwich, winter will be over, right?  I'm pretty certain that is the case.  How could I be all up in winter's cold cold grasp while I chow down on summer staples?

Bacon. Basil. Mozzarella. Grilled cheese.  None of these things are new to me.  They're my jam.  However I've only had each of them separately.  (Yes, I sometimes eat basil by itself because I munch on ingredients when I cook.  No big thang.)  What I have never done, though, is put them all together.  I just want you to know that this combination is mind-blowing.  Trust.

While I would love to take credit for this, I didn't come up with this recipe myself.  My Secret Recipe Club assignment was Goodie Godmother, which is an absolutely amazing blog written by Mary.  She is a woman after my own heart and is completely in love with desserts.   She is seriously contemplating opening up a bakery, which I would love to do myself someday.  If I had to decide whether or not I would visit this bakery based upon her blog, that would be a huge "Heck yes".  I'm gonna need that.  K, thanks.

I really had a rough time choosing between making her Baked Red Velvet Doughnuts, Nutella Pound Cake, or Nutella Truffles (because I love Nutella like it's my job).  But fate intervened.  By fate, I mean that I was starving one day and quickly dialed up Mary's blog to find this grilled cheese staring me down.  I had all the ingredients on hand so clearly it was meant to be. I swear this lady and her recipes just get me!  I guess that means I'll just HAVE to explore the dessert recipes another day...<hint hint>

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Slow Cooker Chicken Soup with Kale

Slow Cooker Chicken Soup with Kale

I have resolved to make this winter "The Winter of Soups".  This is a strategic move on my part.  Last winter I tried to be brave.  I have electric heat in my apartment, which basically translates to $$$$$!!!!  I set up space heaters around my apartment which were strategically pointed at my desk and my bed to provide much-needed warmth.  I barely made it through last winter because my apartment is barely insulated so the weather outside is basically what I feel sitting inside.  Awesome.

This winter, I have thrown caution out the window.  I am brazenly running all electric heaters in my apartment.  I also obtained a comfortable, baggy sweater that I am obsessed with and affectionately call my "housecoat".  Some people may do this ironically. I do this because I am cold and I don't want to be anymore. I will wear my beloved housecoat everywhere, even to the bar across the street.  Don't worry, I haven't done that....lies, I totally did.

Warmth is the name of my game.  That game also requires soup.  I can't believe that I have never made a chicken noodle soup in the almost 6 years that I have had this blog.  Let's fix that, for sure!  For this month's Secret Recipe Club, I was paired with the fabulous Heather from Fit Mama Real Food

She is somehow doing it all: she is a wife and mother and group fitness instructor and is somehow able to make completely awesome recipes while doing all this!  Where do you find the time, Heather?  Teach me all the secrets!  It probably has something to do with a slow cooker and some comforting soup...

Here's a little trivia that you probably don't know, Heather.  I definitely referred to your AFAA post to help me make it through my own AFAA certification this past September!  How crazy is that!!!  Btw, I totally passed on the first try so thanks so much for your help!

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Simple Apple Tart

Whew.  This month has been a crazy one!  I am currently writing this blog post while sitting on a train to do a show down in Baltimore because...when else would I have the time!  OK, I know it's my own fault for agreeing to do anything that anyone even remotely suggests to me.  I just can't let myself sit still for too long!

Anyhow, since I had several activities planned in October/early November,  I opted to make something simple for this month's Secret Recipe Club.  I had the pleasure of being assigned Marsha's blog, The Harried Cook, this month.  While I was intrigued by the apple and oats muffins (yes!), the walnut muffins with coffee glaze (what!), and the homemade boursin (omg!) this simple apple tart really called out to me.

Every Fall, I try to make at least one new recipe with apples.  I've really had a long, long moment with apples this year.  I've started eating several apples a week which is a lot for me, especially if you knew me a few years ago.  I knew I needed to squeeze in an apple recipe before Fall deteriorates into Winter, so this apple tart fit the bill quite nicely.

Marsha was super amazing and made the crust for this herself.  I am not quite as industrious and chose to go the store-bought route.  I swear I'll start making pie crusts soon.  Just not yet.  This tart was so delicious.  I love that the filling is custard-like and I really enjoyed it paired up with the apples.  Check this one out folks!

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Pumpkin Cranberry Chocolate Cookies

More pumpkin thingys are coming your way!  Don't think that I got sidetracked with baked fries and Nutella sandwiches.  Well, I will admit that I was distracted, but I'm definitely still in that pumpkin mood.  Although I was dragged into this season kicking and screaming, I'm finally starting to accept that things are changing.

To celebrate this, I chose this month's Secret Recipe Club's recipe based on my ability to use pumpkin.  Also, I may have wanted to use cranberries and chocolate.  I just can't settle on one thing! I was paired up with Colleen from Secrets from the Cookie Princess for this month's SRC post.  Let me tell you that Colleen has got a ton of recipes that I was drooling over.  Some of the ones that almost made the cut were her Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins (until I realized I had already made something similar in the past), Pumpkin Beer Chili, and Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake (because chocolate chips and coffee cake, of course!).

I finally narrowed the selection down to the Pumpkin Cranberry Cookies, but since I still had chocolate chips on the brain, I wanted to throw some in as well.  And then I couldn't decide whether I wanted white chocolate or milk chocolate chips....so I added both!

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Nutella Oatmeal Cookie Sandwiches

I remember when I was a senior in college and one of my good friends who had just graduated came back to visit from "the outside world".  I was having a conversation with him, telling him that I couldn't wait to graduate myself and be done with college.  I distinctly remember his response: "Don't rush it.  College is amazing.  Once you get into the real world, time flies by so fast!"  I don't know why this conversation came back to me just recently, but it's definitely applicable to how I'm feeling right  now.  I can't believe it's time for the Secret Recipe Club again!  It's feels like just last week that I was posting about Feta Avocado Dip.  I need more time!

I also feel as if I haven't posted anything sweet in a while.  What is going on over here on this blog?!?!!? Have we forgotten our sweet sweet origins, which happened to consist of us drowning in cupcakes?  I must redeem myself.  I actually used my new coworkers as my excuse.  Since I've been at my new job, the treats have been flowing in and out of the office like whoa.  Of course I had to contribute as well.  For the good of the company.

This month, I was assigned Nicole's and Susan's blog, Flavors By Four.  They are a mother-daughter team and can I just say that their blog is chock-FULL of recipes that I want to make?  I really really wanted to taste their Biscoff Brown Sugar Bars, but since they made that for last month's SRC, I quickly realized I had to let that dream go.  My coworkers were still in luck though, because I found another recipe that was just crazy delicious: Nutella Oatmeal Cookie Sandwiches!  There are no words for these, other than ohmigosh, ohmigosh, ohmigosh!

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Feta Avocado Dip

I recently purchased several avocados and then realized that I would need to use them all up before I went on vacation.  (Side note: I'm in the Bahamas for the week!  More on this later...)  When I was assigned CJ's blog Morsels of Life for this month's Secret Recipe Club, I knew I needed to make something that 1) involved avocados and 2) wasn't baked!  CJ has been blogging for a few months now and has a very similar philosophy to me when it comes to cooking:  make food that is quick and tasty.  I'm on board with that 100%, CJ!

I struck gold when I found the recipe for Feta Avocado Dip on CJ's blog.  Unsurprisingly, I had feta on hand, since I usually have at least 3 types of cheeses sitting in my refrigerator at any given time.  I was able to use my food processor to make this dip in just minutes and the results were so refreshing and delicious that it accidentally-on-purpose doubled as my lunch.  I can't wait to make this again!

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